Snowfall during cold months impacts the performance of photovoltaic (PV) installations. In real field operations, different ambient conditions often cause non-uniform snow accretion on PV panels. This can have a considerable effect on PV power production depending on array configuration, the pattern of snow coverage, and bypass diodes included in a PV system. The electrical behaviour of snow-covered PV cells is experimentally characterised. Then, the true impact of non-uniform snow accretion on PV system performance is investigated. Effect of employing bypass diodes on a PV string power generation is also verified. Different PV array layouts are studied to improve the PV harvest efficiency in cold climate regions. This research may be regarded as a practical tool for the design and selection of PV modules subjected to snowfall.
- Solar cells
- Photovoltaic power systems